Did Arum and Pacquiao tell the truth?

Veteran promoter Bob Arum has been saying that Manny Pacquiao’s demotion to an undercard role was not the honest reason the eight-division world title winner from the Philippines has pulled out from Top Rank’s April 14 card in Las Vegas.

His own camp said Pacquiao refused to fight because the fighting Filipino senator felt terribly insulted following his nonheadlining assignment against former world champion Mike Alvarado, widely considered a busted ring material.

Before the refusal, Pacquiao had said he would be delighted to fight WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse instead.

Arum promptly turned down the Matthysse proposal, but later relented and said it could happen but only on a later date.

No immediate reaction came from Pacquiao, who would also hint over the weekend he could be fighting next in Malaysia.

On the other hand, Arum picked IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas to  step in  for Pacquiao in the April 14th card.

There was a muddle, but in an effort to clear the air, Arum issued a statement saying there was no friction whatsoever between him and Pacquiao.

“This has nothing to do with Manny potentially being on the undercard. That had never been discussed, with Manny,” Arum explained.

So what’s the real score?

“There are good reasons why he is not fighting on April 14th and because they were told to me in confidence, I’m not going to discuss it, I’ll just leave it at  that,” Arum added.

Meanwhile, the hard-working Maloney Samaco of philboxing.com reported that Arum has obviously revealed extra details to other sources.

Said Samaco: “Mike Coppinger of RingTV.com reported that Arum was saying Pacquiao was not fighting because of a problem with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).”

Samaco added “Pacquiao had some issue on taxes since 2016 and he exerted efforts to minimize the amount.”

Pacquiao’s problem with the taxman is an open secret. Floyd Mayweather Jr. himself has had some serious run-ins with the IRS.

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